• From mobile apps in the UK and Spain to smart cards in Greece, countries are finding resourceful ways to tackle food waste
• In the UK, the average food waste per person per year is 74.7kg, the equivalent of 655 quarter pounder burgers. Across the year, this accounts for 4.9 million tonnes of food
• Greece leads the way in least average food waste per person at 44kg per year
• Australia wastes 8.9 million tonnes of food a year, 4x more than Sweden (2.1m)
Countries around the world are coming up with creative ways to tackle the global issue of food waste, according to research conducted by kitchen specialists Magnet.
Greece leads the way in terms of minimum individual food waste, with an average 44kg of food wasted each year. The statistics are compiled from the Food Sustainability Index 2017, which was developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Centre for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN).
To highlight the importance of reducing food waste, Magnet have shone a spotlight on some of the individual efforts that have been made by organizations around the world.
Apps are proving to be popular in helping reduce the amount of food wasted. In the UK, Too Good To Go allows users to purchase surplus food from over 4,500 restaurants and cafes at a low price. In Spain, the Yo No Desperdicio app (which stands for “I Don’t Waste”) allows its users to give away or trade unwanted food items with those living nearby.
In Greece, plans are in development to launch a smart food card in Heraklion. The initiative, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will collect data from citizens’ shopping trips and tell them what items are in the fridge that have expiry dates coming up.
According to the Food Sustainability Index, people in the United Kingdom waste an average of 74.7kg of food each year, ahead of South Korea (95kg) and France (106kg).
In Australia, each person wastes an average 361kg of food a year – the biggest amount out of all 30 countries listed. Nearly 90% of all tomatoes harvested in Australia are thrown away purely based on their aesthetics and could have otherwise been used.
Hayley Simmons, Head of Merchandising at Magnet, says of the research:
“We can already see that those initiatives that are creative and incorporate technology in their approach are proving to be the most successful at whittling down food waste numbers. It shows that by being more accessible, people feel more accountable for the food that they end up throwing away.
Something as simple as being more aware of expiry dates and resisting the urge to buy additional food when we have a fridge full is a small change that can have a massive impact.”
For more information on the research and to see more about what countries around the world are doing to combat food waste, visit the Magnet site here: https://www.magnet.co.uk/advice-inspiration/blog/2018/February/food-waste-around-the-world/
For more information on the Food Sustainability Index 2017, please visit: http://www.sustainability.eiu.com.